TRC begins investigation into alleged anti-competitive practices

21 Oct 2010

The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) of the British Virgin Islands has announced that it will be investigating allegations of anti-competitive behaviour by Digicel BVI in call pricing and termination services to other Digicel destinations in the Caribbean. The complaint was been raised by rival cellco Caribbean Cellular Telephone (CCT). ‘Whilst carrying out an investigation does not mean in itself that Digicel has breached any principle of fair competition as set out in the Telecommunications Act it is now the duty of the TRC to investigate whether such anti-competitive behaviour exists,’ said Sarah Hayes, chief economist of the TRC.

The complaint raised by CCT concerns its ability to replicate Digicel’s plans for calling within the Caribbean. It is alleged that this is due to the relatively high price Digicel charges its rival for calls from CCT customers to reach Digicel destinations in the Caribbean, compared to the price Digicel charges its own customers to make such calls. During the course of the investigation the TRC will analyse whether such behaviour may unfairly restrict CCT’s ability to compete for certain user segments and thereby undermine operation of fair competition and user interests. Interested parties are invited to submit comments or objections to the notice to the TRC (www.trc.vg) by 22 November 2010.